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Making Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Into Super Bowl’s Dancing M.V.P.s

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    Making Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Into Super Bowl’s Dancing M.V.P.s Making Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Into Super Bowl Dancers

    It took all summer for the big finale to come together in the movie “Dirty Dancing.” Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. learned the routine in two days.

    By Pia Catton | February 5, 2018

    In a National Football League ad that quickly went viral, the Giants’ quarterback and wide receiver recreated that film’s final scene with some help from a Broadway choreographer. With its potent mix of comedy, pop-culture nostalgia and sympathy for a quarterback who had a rough season, the ad captured the imagination of fans.

    The advertisement, created by the agency Grey New York, was in a way a celebration of celebrations. The 2017-18 season was the first since the N.F.L. lifted its ban on dancing after touchdowns, and all season, teams outdid each other with entertaining routines in the end zones. One team mimicked playing hide-and-seek using the goal post. Others got in formation for leapfrog and duck-duck-goose. There were pretend naps — and versions of the popular dance move, the Floss.

    “We had so many breakout moments where players showed their creativity together,” said Dawn Hudson, the chief marketing officer of the N.F.L. “We wanted to keep that fun going for the Super Bowl and give our fans something to smile and laugh at.”

    But Sunday night’s ad raised the bar. The tagline “To all the touchdowns to come” appears as Beckham is held aloft in the classic “Dirty Dancing” lift by Manning. (And no, that moment did not involve body doubles, said Jeff Stamp, a deputy chief creative officer of Grey New York.)

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